Above: “Orchid Trio,” work in acrylic by Elaine Dobrowolski
The current art exhibit at the East Lansing Public Library, with works by Lily LaFollette and Elaine Dobrowolski, can be seen until April 27. The works include lovely scenes from Michigan farms, forests, and lakesides. The two artists have similar backgrounds in that each studied art, found her talent, and pursued a passion for painting after an earlier career—in one case, a career in manufacturing, in the other case, a career in business. Each also prefers pleine aire painting in oils, acrylic, or mixed media and captures tranquil moments in Michigan's outdoors.
When Dobrowolski's career in the auto industry ended with a plant closing, she started a new life by studying art at Flint Institute of Art. She says she began to "see, feel, and experience life in its many nuances." She is now driven to put the images she sees and feels onto canvas for others to enjoy. Her greatest satisfaction in showing her art is to "know it generates interest, inspiration, or emotion in someone else."
After a career in business and raising a family, LaFollette could follow her dream to study painting and to travel, which is the inspiration for her art. She notes that living in mid-Michigan gives her many opportunities to capture "the quiet rustic countryside and traditional still life," or to easily travel to the "dramatic Great Lakes coastline." She is an award-winning artist who has participated in many shows (e.g. Saginaw Art Museum, Glen Arbor Art). She has also provided her artwork for charitable purposes. She was featured in Detroit News and Free Press when her donated artwork netted more than $4000 for Livingston County Meals on Wheels.
Below: Ribbits at Dow Gardens, work in oil by Lily LaFollette.
If you want to introduce your children to art, this exhibit is a good place to start. They will recognize Michigan scenes, and you can talk about how these have been interpreted. You can compare paintings of similar scenes by the two artists. And you can challenge them to find the turquoise frog and tell you what they think of that!
The exhibit is now hanging on the north wall of the library’s lounge (the west side of the library across from checkout desk) and in the northeast corner over the study carrels.
Art exhibits at the East Lansing Public Library are sponsored by Friends of the East Lansing Public Library.